From Joan Cusack Handler, Publisher and Senior Editor
Interestingly enough, our mission statement changes as we grow. Our first emphasized our dual commitment: A not-for-profit literary press serving art and community. Unique among independent presses we wanted to single ourselves out for our programs as well as our books.
Next, we focused on clarifying that dual commitment: Through publishing and programming, CavanKerry Press connects communities of writers with communities of readers. We publish poetry that reaches from the page to include the reader by the finest new and established contemporary writers. Our programming brings our books and our poets to people where they live, cultivating new audiences and nourishing established ones.
Our third statement introduced our new tagline, Lives Brought to Life, the addition of memoir to our publishing program, and our commitment to diversity: CavanKerry Press is a not-for-profit literary press dedicated to art and community. From its inception in 2000, its vision has been to present, through poetry and prose, and to create programs that bring CavanKerry books and writers to diverse audiences.
And now, we are proud to announce our newly composed fourth mission statement which hones in on CavanKerry’s aesthetic and inclusive spirit: CavanKerry Press is committed to expanding the reach of poetry to a general readership by publishing poets whose works explore the emotional and psychological landscapes of everyday life. Our vision follows from that : A literary press at the center of a community of poets and readers.
I can’t say why this newest mission statement delights me so. While each of them has been accurate, none has expressed quite as succinctly what drives us today and what drove me to found the press in the first place. Clearly, it identifies our most basic yet profound raison d’etre. So much poetry published today does not include the general reader nor does it focus on the emotional and psychological truth of everyday life. On the other hand, CavanKerry was founded to focus on a bedrock commitment to broadening the reach of poetry and to the belief that poetry belongs to everyone.
I can’t imagine clarifying who we are any better than this newest mission statement, but who knows—we’ll keep you posted.
Thank you to all of you who help us do this work.